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How to stay safe when banking online

2nd January 2024

Picture this: it’s 10pm and you suddenly realise you forgot to pay a bill. Or it’s a lazy Sunday, traditional banks are closed, and you urgently need to manage your finances or send a gift. That’s when online banking steps in and offers a 24/7 solution. With constant access to your account, the ability to handle payments, transfer money and often the convenience of a mobile banking app at your fingertips, online banking offers extra flexibility.

So, let’s take a look at how you can manage your online banking with confidence.

What are the myths of online banking?

If you’re not sure about online banking, let’s first debunk some of the common myths that can cloud its safety and accessibility.

Myth one: Online banks don’t offer good customer service

Online banking doesn’t mean bad customer service. Online banks offer great customer support through live chats, secure messaging, and sometimes even apps, making help available 24/7. In fact, Hodge was awarded the prestigious ServiceMark accreditation by the Institute of Customer Service in 2023. The ServiceMark is a national standard which is awarded to organisations committed to delivering excellent customer services and an on-going commitment to customers, our customers rate us as 9 out of 10 for staff helpfulness.

Myth two: Online banks aren’t safe

Online banking's safety can be a concern, but it’s very secure. Trusted online banks use security measures such as multi-step authentication methods and encryption software to protect your details.

Plus, banks like Hodge are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme to keep your cash extra safe. We also came out on top as the most trusted bank/building society in the UK in 2023 when we were awarded the ServiceMark accreditation by the Institute of Customer Service.

Myth three: Opening an online bank account is tricky

Opening an account online is simpler than you think. With many banks, all it takes is basic internet access and a few minutes to fill out a form. Once approved, you’re good to go. With Hodge, you can get started in just three simple steps.

Myth four: Online banking is for the younger generation

Digital banking isn’t just for the tech-savvy. Online banking websites and apps are designed to be user friendly, an easy way to handle finances, offering convenience and security for people of all ages.

What are the risks on online banking?

When it comes to money matters, it’s always good to be cautious before giving away personal details. Cyber threats like phishing, malware, and identity theft can put your sensitive information at risk. Fraudsters will make a lot of effort to get hold of your information, so always be careful.

Never give out your personal information, credit card, or online account details over the phone (unless you made the phone call and got the number from a trusted source) or via email. We’ll never ask you to share your password with us or send a link to click and enter your personal information such as username, password or security questions.

If you believe you’ve been a victim of fraud or hacking, please change the email address and all passwords linked to your Hodge account and contact us for more help.

Visit our Five to Stop Fraud hub for more help.

What is the safest way to bank online?

You don’t need to be a tech expert to steer clear of online crime. Being mindful and adopting some good online habits can significantly lower your risk of being victim of cybercrime.

Here are some easy-to-use tips you can start applying to your online banking habits right away:

  1. Strong Passwords: Create strong, unique passwords and change them regularly. Combining three random words to create a password is recommended by cyber security experts at the NCSC. Keeping them safe is also a must, so never write them down or store them somewhere that‘s easily accessed, including on your phone.
  2. Secure Networks: Use trusted and secure networks for financial transactions. Public Wi-Fi networks might expose your data to potential risks. Look for the padlock symbol in your browser address bar, this confirms your connection to the site is secure. Make sure you only download apps or software from official app stores or bank-approved sources to avoid malware.
  3. Stay Informed: Keep an eye on your bank accounts regularly and check your bank statements. Report any suspicious activity immediately to your bank. The good news is this is a lot easier to do with online banking. Some banks will even allow you to set up alerts for your bank account – such as transactions, balance thresholds, and login attempts. This helps you stay on top of your account activity.
  4. Verify the specifics: Take a closer look at emails, texts, and website links for spelling, grammar errors, or any unusual signs that could show they're not genuine. Phishing sites might use similar-looking characters to mimic real ones, so be vigilant.
  5. Two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication is a security step which adds an extra layer to login. It involves entering your username and password along with a security code sent to your phone or email. This dual step makes it tougher for hackers to access your account as they'd need access to both your login credentials and your phone or email.

How safe is online banking?

Banking online is safe, but just as banks and financial services put in safeguards to protect your money, it's important you also take precautions to protect your personal information and make your online banking a worry-free experience. Use the Take Five to Stop Fraud steps, ‘Stop. Challenge. Protect’.  Stop to take a moment to think about what information or money your being asked to give. Challenge the request, could it be fake? Are they trying to rush or pressure you for information? Feel confident to refuse or ignore. Protect your money by reporting a potential scam to your bank. Find out more at Take Five to Stop Fraud.

By staying alert, using strong passwords, and verifying every transaction, you can bank online safely and confidently. Your financial well-being is our top priority, and we're here to support you every step of the way.

Start online banking with Hodge

You can start your online banking journey with us today with just three simple steps, putting your savings management right at your fingertips. Sign up for an online account to effortlessly check balances, handle deposits and withdrawals, and keep everything current – all with a simple click.

Need a hand? Our registration process is designed to make this as quick and easy as possible. If you have any questions, our team is here to help. They'll help with safety checks and give you peace of mind about the security of your savings. Contact us.

This article is correct at time of publishing and for general information purposes only. We recommend you speak to a professional financial adviser for advice. You can find a financial adviser and further personal finance information at

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